That's been the overwhelmingly ubiquitous motif in the submissions to the ridiculously named TP Cinco de Mayo Web 2.0 Glory Awards contest.
Funny. While I've used Skype quite a bit in keeping in touch with friends in Europe, for some reason it's something I really haven't integrated into my classroom.
It's time for that to change.
So, for starters, my Skype name is ringingboots. All of you Ed Techies out there should feel free to Skype-chat me anytime with questions or observations. From now on I'm just leaving it running all the time in the background of my desktop.
I'm also looking for teachers to help create collaborative classrooms using Skype-video. Get in touch if you are interested.
As for the 2009 TeachPaperless Cinco de Mayo Web 2.0 Glory Award, the winner is: Michael Kaechele of the great state of Michigan! (Now, everyone should go check out his blog... lots of cool ideas).
Michael's idea -- WebPals -- demonstrates just how much potential there is in Web 2.0 not only to teach content, but to teach civility.
Students would be signed up [on Skype] with another student from a different culture around the world. They would have 5-10 minute conversations once a week. It would start out structured with certain topics to talk about but allowing free conversation. The goal would be to develop cross-cultural friendship that would decrease students prejudices and stereotypes and increase their tolerance. I used to teach in an alternative school in a rural district that had very little diversity. I had students in class with neo-nazi tattoos and who had gotten in trouble for burning crosses in people's yards. WebPals would give those students a chance to get to know personally someone who is different from themselves and discover the similarities that they have.
Nice thinking, Michael. And thanks to all of the folks who participated via Twitter, blogging, email, and... well... Skype.